Renogy started in 2010 as a small project by students at Louisiana State University. In the past few years and especially through the year 2020, it’s now turned into a flourishing company that is growing at a rapid pace. One only needs to look it up on Google Trends to get an idea of the kind of growth this company has been on:
In this article, I’ll go over the main questions people have about this company and share my research on them that I’ve done so far.
(If you’d like to skip straight to the verdict on whether Renogy products are any good, click here)
Who are the people behind Renogy?
The CEO of Renogy since it began is Yi Li, originally from China, who earned a PhD in Physics on a full scholarship from Louisiana State University (it is always nice to see companies founded by scientists instead of businesspeople). According to her LinkedIn profile (linked), Renogy is the only place Yi Li has ever worked. Some more information on Yi Li and her mentality can be found in this Inc article. Some of the employees working at Renogy can be seen on the Renogy company LinkedIn page here, where (at the time of writing) there are 38 employees, 28 from the USA and 10 from China.
What product line does Renogy offer right now?
Renogy’s core product is its solar panels, which currently range in price from around $13 (for a portable solar panel with a USB port) to $600 (for a 200 Watt Monocrystalline solar panel). But beyond solar panels, they also offer the following:
- Solar kits
- Charge controllers
- Deep cycle batteries
- Battery chargers
- Accessories & wiring
Where are Renogy products made?
Renogy is based in the USA and most of the company employees work in the USA, but it looks like their manufacturing is done in China, specifically in the cities of Wuxi China and Suzhou China. Renogy does not seem to mention on their website anywhere where they do most of their manufacturing and I’ve sent an email to them asking for them to confirm. However, if you look at this video on the Renogy YouTube channel, it’s clear that the factory workers are of Asian ethnicity, and this article mentions Renogy “has built manufacturing plants in Asia.” Towards the end of that video it says Renogy has branches in Wuxi, China and Suzhou, China. You can also see a made-in-china.com profile for Renogy here where their address is listed in the city of Wuxi.
Can you buy stock in Renogy?
A slightly odd question, but one that people are apparently asking. The answer is no. Renogy is not a public company and you can’t buy stock in it.
What about the installation or setup process for Renogy solar panels?
Installing solar panels takes some work, and you may prefer to hire a professional (actually, I recommend that if you’re not technically inclined and have never done this kind of work before). But Renogy solar panels are no more difficult to install than other solar panels, and Renogy has created some very good resources to help you including several videos (eg. see this tutorial video for installing a 100 Watt starter kit) and manuals. The difficulty of installing Renogy solar panels may of course vary depending on where and how you’re using them.
Does Renogy offer decent customer support?
I have not had an interaction with Renogy’s customer support myself. However, in doing research on Renogy across the web I found a significant number of complaints against Renogy’s support on Trustpilot and on their community forums stating that the company often does not respond to support inquiries. There are also comments around the web saying that Renogy support is OK, but there are definitely more complaints than there should be.
Are there any coupon codes for Renogy?
Yes. The 2 coupon codes I’ve personally found and tested that work for Renogy at the time of writing are welcome5 (that will get you 5% off your order) and solidwoodworx (even better – 10% off sitewide). You can also try the coupon code WELCOMEBACK12 which may give you a 12% discount depending on when you try it. Here’s a screenshot of the coupon code solidwoodworx working:
Where should you buy Renogy products?
Renogy products are available both on the company website, and on Amazon. I strongly recommend looking at both before you buy anything to see where you can get a cheaper price. There’s a good chance the company website will be cheaper if you can use one of the coupon codes I mentioned above. The advantage of going through Amazon is it might be an easier/smoother process getting a return or a refund if there’s any issue with the product.
Renogy is a reputable company and you can feel comfortable buying from them. In their 10 year history they have built up an excellent reputation for quality, and you can see from their verified Amazon reviews for their main products (see verified Amazon reviews for their 100 Watt Monocrystalline solar panel, for example) that the vast majority of their customers have a good experience. They would also not have survived for a decade and be taking off like they are now if they sold junk products.
The only reasons you shouldn’t buy from Renogy is if 1) you only want to buy American manufactured goods or 2) you have some concerns about their possible lack of support.
How does Renogy compare to its alternatives & competitors?
There are a number of companies that offer solar panels and related products like Renogy. At the time of writing, I have not tested each of these companies, just done a lot of digging into them online. This is therefore a work in progress.
Renogy vs HQST: HQST solar panels are practically identical to Renogy and generate the exact same amount of power. In fact, they are so similar that people say they probably come from the same factory. HQST is therefore a good brand that you can go with instead of Renogy if you like.
Renogy vs Windy Nation: In progress.
Renogy vs Zamp: In progress.
Renogy vs Goal Zero: In progress.
Renogy vs Rich Solar: Bigger than Renogy solar panels, and less efficient (in comparison to its size) than Renogy.
Renogy vs NewPowa: Similar to Rich Solar (bigger than Renogy solar panels, and less efficient in comparison to its size than Renogy).